September 10, 2004 6:20 AM Subscribe
Do you play armchair pyschiatrist? How sure are you that you're right about people's inner lives? Do you act on your hunches? [More Inside.]
posted by grumblebee to human relations (25 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
["psychiatrist," that is...]
I'm a somewhat eccentric person, I'm shy and don't talk much in public, and I don't show a lot on my face -- so my moods are very open to interprestation. Lately, I've been in a few situations in which people wrongly tagged my mindset. They didn't say "I think you're..." or "It seems to me you..." or "Are you...?" The KNEW (or believed then knew) what was going on inside my brain. One guy told me, "if you're honest with yourself, you'll admit you're lying." And it wasn't a "lie" that he could sniff out by comparing my claim with real-world facts. My "lie" was a claim about my beliefs -- something known only to me -- and he then counterclaimed that I was lying about my beliefs. I wasn't. But he was unshakable. I asked him for some evidence, but he said he just "could tell." This syndrome has even happened to me here. Once a whole group of MeFi people accused me of being dishonest about my feelings. I was actually being quite honest. My feelings were just a bit unusual.
How good do you think you are at guessing what's going on inside someone elses head? After you've made that guess, what do you do with it? Do you present it to the outside world as fact? Is it unshakable? Are you 100% sure you're right? Have any of you ever been able to shake someone else of a belief about YOUR mental state? If someone says, "I can tell you're depressed," there's no way you can prove you're not, even if you're not. Right?